• April 21, 2024

Ronnie O’Sullivan ‘harassed’ by fan at World Snooker Championship before first-round win

Ronnie O’Sullivan remains on track to hit Stephen Hendry’s record of seven modern world titles

Conference location: Crucible Theater, Sheffield Events: April 17th – May 3rd
Cover: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and Red Button, with non-stop coverage on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport app.

Six-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan said he was “harassed” by a “bloated” fan while relaxing in a Sheffield restaurant before sealing his first-round win at the Crucible.

O’Sullivan defeated qualifier Mark Joyce 10-4 at the World Cup, which has limited the number of fans as part of a pilot project.

Defending champion O’Sullivan said, “About 99% of the people were fine.

“It’s the strange one. He was fed up and had a mental one. It is what it is.”

O’Sullivan, 45, had previously said he wanted “protection” from fans The tournament, which will have more and more spectators over time, culminates in a planned capacity of 980 spectators for the final.

The World Snooker Tour organization has advised players not to pose for selfies or sign autographs in Sheffield.

But O’Sullivan had warned he feared “having to fend off over-excited fans or someone who may have had something to drink that wants in your room”.

The number two in the world and top seeds were having lunch with friends and having a coffee between the morning and evening hours on Saturday when the incident occurred.

“I knew it would happen if it got busy,” said O’Sullivan. “What can you do? People don’t think, do they?

“I was harassed as if you wouldn’t believe it. The geezer came up to me. I said, ‘Please, I have to get through this tournament without Covid. I beg you.’

“It’s getting busier and busier. The geezer was a nightmare. The guy in the restaurant came out with his two coworkers, they took him away.

“It’s nobody’s fault. People were let out and go shopping. That’s how it is. It was different last year and it’s different this year. It was so much quieter; you could sit outside and have a meal last year.”

“Most people are fed up with these suspensions and want to leave their lives. It was one or two. That’s right. If I didn’t have to be clean for this tournament, it wouldn’t be so important.” but if i get covid i cant play.

“I have to stay away. I’ll find places that are a little quieter when I can. I’ll come in at the last minute and stay as far away from Sheffield as possible.”


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